“Isipin mo ang mga bata sa Catarman…”
Loosely translated, it means “Think of the plight of the children in Catarman.”
Growing up, this is what my nanay (mom) would always say whenever I take too much food from a buffet and could not finish them. I also get this reminder when I perform a hissy fit to get her to buy me siopao, after just inhaling a big plate of palabok.
Apparently, Catarman is a town that is so poor that people rely on rice and seasalt as their meal; that’s if they can even afford rice.
This reminder always works. It shuts me up…till the next meal.
I did not live in fear. I actually learned to respect whatever or whoever I encounter in life. Somehow, her words taught me the value of not living beyond my means.This became my code to remain humble.
So even if I found out that Catarman is now a first-class municipality and that nanay never actually lived there, the lessons I learned are embedded in my core and will never be broken.
Salamat (thanks) nanay, for prepping me on what life has to offer. Salamat for the fact that I got a warning first before the actual spanking. Salamat for the siopao, palabok, adobo, tocino, longganisa, lumpia, and pansit.
A cherry tree’s eerie trunk in juxtaposition with its soft blossoms is life being imperfectly perfect. (at High Park Cherry Blossoms)